Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sold Out To Jesus

Ever wonder what life would be like if you gave all of yourself to Jesus? I'm not talking just about your worship time on Sundays, your quiet times, or even your family devotions. What would it be like to give your ALL, heart and soul and mind 24/7 to God's will for your life? Such thinking scares us a bit, since we love to be in control. But if we truly believe God is trustworthy and has what is best for us in mind, wouldn't it be the better part of wisdom to take that leap of faith into His arms?

--Big Daddy Weave - What Life Would Be Like

Friday, January 30, 2009

Tempting Times

So long as we live in the world, we cannot be without trouble and trial. Wherefore it is written in Job, the life of man upon the earth is a trial. And therefore ought each of us to give heed concerning trials and temptations, and watch unto prayer, lest the devil find occasion to deceive; for he never sleepeth, but goeth about seeking whom he may devour. No man is so perfect in holiness that he hath never temptations, nor can we ever be wholly free from them...

Therefore we ought not to despair when we are tempted, but the more fervently should cry unto God, that He will vouchsafe to help us in all our tribulation; and that He will, as St. Paul saith, with the temptation make a way to escape that we may be able to bear it. Let us therefore humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God in all temptation and trouble, for He will save and exalt such as are of an humble spirit.

--from The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cross Thoughts

LORD JESUS what love shall I render unto Thee, for Thy love unto me! Thy eternal love! Oh what fervour, what ardour, what humiliation, what reverence, what joy, what adoration, what zeal, what thanksgiving!

Thou that art perfect in Beauty, Thou that art the King of Eternal Glory, Thou that reignest in the Highest Heavens camest down from Heaven to die for me! And shall not I live unto Thee? O my Joy! O my Sovereign Friend! O my life and my all! I beseech Thee let those trickling drops of blood that ran down Thy flesh drop upon me. O let Thy love enflame me. Which is so deep and infinite, that Thou didst suffer the wrath of GOD for me: And purchase all nations and Kingdoms to be my treasures.

O Thou that redeemed me from Hell, and when Thou hadst overcome the sharpness of Death didst open the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers; what shall I do unto Thee? What shall I do for Thee, O Thou preserver of Men? Live, Love, and Admire; and learn to become such unto Thee as Thou unto me.

O Glorious Soul; whose comprehensive understanding at once contains all Kingdoms and Ages! O Glorious Mind! Whose love extendeth to all creatures! O miraculous and eternal Godhead, now suffering on the cross for me: As Abraham saw thy Day and was glad, so didst Thou see me and this Day from all Eternity, and seeing me wast Gracious and Compassionate towards me. (All transient things are permanent in God.) Thou settest me before Thy face forever. O let me this day see Thee, and be united to Thee in Thy Holy Sufferings. Let me learn, O God, such lessons from Thee, as may make me wise, and blessed as an Angel of GOD!

--from Centuries of Meditations by Thomas Traherne

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Knowing God

The modern scientist has lost God amid the wonders of His world; we Christians are in real danger of losing God amid the wonders of His Word. We have almost forgotten that God is a Person and, as such, can be cultivated as any person can. It is inherent in personality to be able to know other personalities, but full knowledge of one personality by another cannot be achieved in one encounter. It is only after long and loving mental intercourse that the full possibilities of both can be explored.

All social intercourse between human beings is a response of personality to personality, grading upward from the most casual brush between man and man to the fullest, most intimate communion of which the human soul is capable. Religion, so far as it is genuine, is in essence the response of created personalities to the Creating Personality, God. "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."

God is a Person, and in the deep of His mighty nature He thinks, wills, enjoys, feels, loves, desires and suffers as any other person may. In making Himself known to us He stays by the familiar pattern of personality. He communicates with us through the avenues of our minds, our wills and our emotions. The continuous and unembarrassed interchange of love and thought between God and the soul of the redeemed man is the throbbing heart of New Testament religion.

--from The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mirror Image

Few of us are truly satisfied with the person in our mirror. We look in the glass in passing and the voices start. Too fat. Too thin. Too short. Too tall. Why can't I have more hair, fewer wrinkles? It's so unfair that her skin is clear and mine looks like the surface of the moon. Any of these voices sound familiar?

Maybe the voices don't mention the physical. Maybe they criticize deeper, question who you are as a person. Why can't you be a better father, mother, brother, sister? So you think you're a follower of Christ? Ha! How could He love someone as messed up as you? Maybe if you weren't so spineless and had some will-power you could be a good person.

And that's where the big lie comes sneaking into our hearts, the lie that somehow if we just try hard enough we can measure up to God's standards. But the truth is that our own efforts toward self-perfection will only lead to frustration. Only by "letting go and letting God" can we know the changes that are needed to make us into the people that the mirrors of self-reflection can't pick apart.

Christ, the Spirit of Christ, interpenetrating ours, sweetens, purifies, transforms all. This only can eradicate what is wrong, work a chemical change, renovate and regenerate, and rehabilitate the inner man. Will-power does not change men. Time does not change men. Christ does.

--from Beautiful Thoughts by Henry Drummond

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bubbling Over

How happy and blessed are those who know the love of their Saviour.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

True Change

What's the biggest visible difference between a true believer and a non-believer? Change. Change of heart, Change of attitude, change of perspective. Christians are odd ducks. When we are truly following Christ we no longer react like everyone else to life's stresses. Are we perfect? Far from it. Do we stumble? Check out the scratches on my spiritual face where I've hit the floor periodically. But are we new creatures that are being changed into the image of Christ? Absolutely. And that God-driven change is what this video talks about.

--Brandon Heath - I'm Not Who I Was

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Who can you trust when life's body blows have knocked the wind out of you? Who can you turn to when your world doesn't make sense any more, and you feel more alone than ever before? Remember, in your best and worst moments only God is always there for you.

--Tramaine Hawkins - Who's Gonna Carry You

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Gift

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

--Romans 6:22-23 (NIV)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Fettered Bird Freed

A friend in Ireland once met a little Irish boy who had caught a sparrow. The poor little bird was trembling in his hand, and seemed very anxious to escape. The gentleman begged the boy to let it go, as the bird could not do him any good; but the boy said he would not; for he had chased it three hours before he could catch it. He tried to reason it out with the boy, but in vain.

At last he offered to buy the bird; the boy agreed to the price, and it was paid. Then the gentleman took the poor little thing and held it out on his hand. The boy had been holding it very fast, for the boy was stronger than the bird, just as Satan is stronger than we, and there it sat for a time, scarcely able to realize the fact that it had got liberty; but in a little while it flew away, chirping, as if to say to the gentleman, "Thank you! thank you! you have redeemed me."

That is what redemption is--buying back and setting free. So Christ came back to break the fetters of sin, to open the prison doors and set the sinner free. This is the good news, the gospel of Christ--"Ye are not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ."

--from Moody's Anecdotes and Illustrations by Dwight L. Moody

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cure for Sadness

Come, and let your sad heart begin to hope. Will He reveal Himself? He did it to the disciples and He will do it to you. Perhaps there are some who have got beyond the sad heart and who yet feel, "I have not got what I want." If you throw open your heart and give up everything but just believing and allowing Him to do what He wants, it will come. God be praised! it will come.

--from Jesus Himself by Andrew Murray

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Why does a person decide to follow Christ? Is it only because we come to realize that He is a fire escape, or is it because we truly love Him? If the former, then our "love" for Him is half-hearted at best. This may be understandable in the new Christian, but as we continue to experience his grace, mercy, and care for us over the years surely our heart attitudes must change into ones of a purer love and adoration. If not, perhaps it is time today to really examine our feelings for the one we call our Savior.

So then in the beginning man loves God, not for God's sake, but for his own. It is something for him to know how little he can do by himself and how much by God's help, and in that knowledge to order himself rightly towards God, his sure support. But when tribulations, recurring again and again, constrain him to turn to God for unfailing help, would not even a heart as hard as iron, as cold as marble, be softened by the goodness of such a Savior, so that he would love God not altogether selfishly, but because He is God? Let frequent troubles drive us to frequent supplications; and surely, tasting, we must see how gracious the Lord is.

--from On Loving God by Bernard of Clairvaux

Monday, January 19, 2009

Lost in the Dream

We all have priorities and responsibilities, but what happens when we get so wrapped up in doing something that seems so good on the surface that we neglect people who care about us in the process? Watch and find out.

--Casting Crowns - American Dream

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Stumbling Saints

One of the oddities of being in the ministry is how people who don't know you very well tend to treat you. Being a pastor and a missionary, I've had individuals curse around me and then suddenly turn red and apologize as if I had never heard such language before. Others treat me like some super saint that perhaps secretly walks on water whenever no one is looking. The truth is that all of us who claim Christ are sinners saved by grace. We all stumble at times, fall on our faces, and have to get back up and get right with God again before moving forward. This is the truth this Sunday's video explores. Enjoy.

--Bob Carlisle - We Fall Down

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hidden Hurt

One of humorist Emma Bombeck's more memorable book titles asks the question If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, Why Am I in the Pits? Does this describe where you are at right now or perhaps have been recently? If it's true, don't be embarrassed. You're not alone.

One of the myths about our faith is that "true Christians" are always supposed to be upbeat. Somehow we equate sadness, grief, or (shudder) periodic depression with sin. But if we step back and take a realistic view of things we realize that life has its ups and downs. To pretend that the difficulties we face have no effect on us is to lie to ourselves and others around us.

Christ himself knew both sorrow and grief. Are we somehow better than He was at dealing with life's problems? Hardly. We just hide behind our fake smiles and pretend we aren't dying inside in the hope that no one will guess how much we are hurting.

Can we agree to take off our masks of pride and self-sufficiency and be real with each other? There's no shame in showing someone else our pain. Who knows? God may have that person in our life at that very moment to be His minister to us. Let's not take away that person's chance to be a blessing or miss out on how God wants to bless us through them.

If we allow Him to, God can refine us in the forge of sorrow and grief just as gold is refined. We hinder the process when we "protect" ouselves behind the veneer of the plastic Christian.

And you know what the problem with plastic Christians is, don't you? They melt away when things get too hot.

Friday, January 16, 2009

An End To Sorrow

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

--Revelation 21:4 (NIV)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

World of Wonders

Remember what life was like when it was all brand new? The eyes of a child see wonders that escape the gaze of jaded adults. When was the last time the prismatic light of a soap bubble gave you pause, or a glimpse of a firefly on a warm, summer night quickened your pulse? No, the majority of us have somehow lost our sense of awe. Is it any surprise, then, that the mystery and majesty of Christ's incarnation often fails to truly touch our souls, or that we prefer to examine the complexities of God's creations with the cold eye of science rather than with a heart open to wonder?

Oh, to be able to recapture that childlike spirit, to be able to really FEEL again the excitement of a new discovery like the young do in our faith in Christ. What a change would come to the way we practice and present our Christianity in the world.

May our prayers have the heartfelt passion of the words of Thomas Traherne as he reflected on the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles at Pentecost:

Breathe upon me, inspire me, quicken me, illuminate me, enflame me, fill me with the Spirit of God; that I may overflow with praises and thanksgivings as they did. Fill me with the riches of Thy glory, that Christ may dwell in my heart by faith, that I being rooted and grounded in Love may speak the wonderful Works of God. Let me be alive unto them: let me see them all, let me feel them all, let me enjoy them all: that I may admire the greatness of Thy love unto my soul, and rejoice in communion with Thee for evermore.

--from Centuries of Meditations by Thomas Traherne

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Life depends upon contact with Life. It cannot spring up out of itself. It cannot develop out of anything that is not Life. There is no Spontaneous Generation in religion any more than in Nature. Christ is the source of Life in the Spiritual World; and he that hath the Son hath Life, and he that hath not the Son, whatever else he may have, hath not Life.

--from Beautiful Thoughts by Henry Drummond

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Reach For It!

Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

--Psalm 63-3-5 (NIV)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Heart Dancer

My God, I am thine--what a comfort divine!

What a blessing to know that the Saviour is mine!

In the heavenly Lamb thrice happy I am,

and my heart it doth dance at the sound of His name.

--from Morning and Evening by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Presence

For those unfamiliar with the global, Hillsong phenomena, you are in for a treat. Sit back, listen, and take some time to worship Him through music.

--Hillsong London - You Are Here (The Same Power)

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Where do you turn to when life yanks the carpet out from under your feet? In case your circumstances are so heavy you've forgotten, this Saturday's video provides the answer.

--Third Day - Cry Out to Jesus

Friday, January 9, 2009

Hope for the Future

At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

--Matthew 24:30-31 (NIV)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Free Reminder

If the Lord Jesus frees you, you shall be free indeed.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What Place for Christ

What place do you want Jesus to have in your life? Are you content to take the Son of God out once a week from your heart's closet, dust him off a bit, and display him for the other Sunday Christians to see, or do you want something more from the one who you call your Savior AND Lord? Arise, Lord Jesus, in our praise and in our lives from this moment onward.

--Don Moen - Arise

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tired of the Shallows

Are you tired of skimming the surface of the deep lake of life with God? Do you ever want to take a faith plunge and discover for yourself what the saints of old held most dearly? Then take the message of today's video to heart and dive deeper into His love.

--Israel and New Breed - Deeper

Monday, January 5, 2009

Eye Witness

Having been a missionary in Africa and Asia for many years, videos that try to educate Christians on ministry in other cultures have a special place in my heart. Like the video from Darlene Zschech last week, today's clip focuses on how seeing first-hand the needs in some of the world's poorest areas can change our hearts forever.

--Sara Groves - I Saw What I Saw

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Sunday Wake-up Call

If what is brewing in your coffee pot is not enough to wake you up this Sunday morning, try a bit of praise from this "Brewster."

--Lincoln Brewster - This Is The Day

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Dad's Heart

Today is my oldest daughter's wedding. This song expresses much of what I and countless other fathers feel when they release their baby girl into the loving arms of someone else.

--Bob Carlisle - Butterfly Kisses

Friday, January 2, 2009

Land of Diversity

Christian music lost one of its greatest songwriters when a car crash took Rich Mullins home to glory. For those unfamiliar with his name, Mullins penned some of the modern classics such as Awesome God, If I Stand, and Hold Me, Jesus. Here is one of his other popular tunes.

--Rich Mullins - Here In America

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

To start off the new year on a musical note, the next week of posts will be inspirational videos from some of the top Christian artists. Today's selection is from one of Australia's best worship leaders. Enjoy!

--Darlene Zschech - Change Your World

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